Statistically, opportunities for upgrading existing infrastructures are much greater than start-up or green-field sales. The revenue per transaction will generally be lower than a green-field sale but the total number of transactions will be much higher. This course is also an excellent customer retention strategy. Clients like to know their resellers are continually looking for ways to make their operations more productive. Even if the customers do not act immediately on the advice, they will still appreciate the reseller’s attention.
From a statistical perspective, targeting Microsoft (News - Alert) customers is also an excellent course of action. This is one of those unusual situations where a limited selection of compatible products has been deployed across an extensive installed base. Therefore, any skills acquired in the process of introducing customers to add-on solutions or enhancements can be leveraged repeatedly. Remember the adage from the Watergate investigation – “Follow The Money” – and Microsoft has certainly been very successful financially.
The economy has been forcing more businesses to economize yet still operate at peak levels. More organizations are turning to unified communications to increase employee productivity. Fortunately, Microsoft is also focusing on this market with some new product releases. UC can improve access to information and/or speed up communications, but some recent Microsoft product versions have also limited or modified some legacy features.
Case in point, Exchange 2010 UM no longer handles the in-bound fax negotiation supported in 2007 UM. To quote the Microsoft Exchange Team, “We have determined that it was best for specialized partners with deep fax expertise to provide the comprehensive fax capability for Exchange Server 2010. We have therefore established partnerships with several fax vendors to ensure a seamless fax experience….” This provides resellers with a unique opportunity to introduce customers to new Microsoft products plus Microsoft certified third-party applications. Additionally, some of these same vendors also integrate with communications solutions from Avaya, Cisco, ShoreTel (News - Alert) and others plus service providers like etherFAX provide integration with Exchange 2010 UM.
Max Schroeder is senior vice president of FaxCore Inc.
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Edited by Stefania Viscusi